Friday 30 November 2007

European political parties

In the new Treaty of Lisbon version of the Treaty on European Union, the European political parties are taken up under Title II, Provisions on democratic principles (Article 8a paragraph 4):

“Political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union.”

In yesterday’s vote the European Parliament overwhelmingly adopted rules regarding their funding: 538 votes in favour to 74 against with 10 amendments.


Political parties at the EU level are necessary channels for democratic participation. Until now they have been weak coalitions of national parties and overshadowed by the parliamentary groups in the European Parliament.

From now on the European political parties are going to be somewhat better equipped to contribute to an evolving European public debate.

The next step for the European political parties is to become more than loose coalitions of parties in the member states. They have to reach out to EU citizens directly and they have to develop means to engage activists across national and linguistic borders.

The new European political parties have to become not only active, but interactive in order to develop the nascent European public space.

Much depends on the European parties themselves, but the national political parties have to change at least as much. Only if the parties in the member states start to take their European parties seriously is there any chance of success.

The homepage of every national party is the obvious starting point for creating awareness. What does it tell us now? What should it be telling us?

These changes have to happen now, not a few weeks ahead of the European parliamentary elections.

Ralf Grahn


European Parliament News: Results of votes on Thursday 29 November 2007;

Thursday 29 November 2007

Lords demand EU treaty consolidation

The EU Council having declined to publish consolidated versions of the Treaty of Lisbon, I called for consolidations of the Reform Treaty by member state governments and non-governmental organisations, such as think-tanks, research institutes or commercial publishers (although legislation including proposals should be accessible to all citizens without cost). I also discussed different reasons for publication, including Treaty provisions, agreed practices and policies of transparency and openness.

As far as I know, there are now three consolidated language versions: French, Spanish and English (all mentioned in earlier postings).

Although there is now a consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty in English, the unjustified reticence of EU institutions and national governments merits further discussion.

I note, with satisfaction, the recommendation of the House of Lords Select Committee on European Union in its Thirty-Fifth Report, Chapter 1:

“15. We accordingly recommend that, as soon as possible, the Government deposit in Parliament a full and thorough analysis of the changes which the Reform Treaty, on the basis of existing texts, would bring about, drawing attention to the differences from existing Treaty provisions. This should include both a consolidated version of the Treaties as amended by the Reform Treaty and an in-depth policy analysis of the effect of the changes. We expect that all Departments would be involved in the preparation of this material.”


If the Lords find a consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty necessary, why should the citizens of the European Union be denied consolidations in their own languages?

Students, teachers, researchers; local, regional, national and EU officials; non-governmental organisations; politicians at every level; journalists; lobbyists; active citizens; in every member state of the European Union there are people who need (more) accessible texts of the Treaty to be signed.

Ralf Grahn


House of Lords Select Committee on European Union: Thirty-Fifth Report;

Expensive peace operations

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) the combined known costs of UN, EU and NATO peace missions reached the record level of $5.5 billion in 2006.

A lot of money, one could say. On the other hand, world military expenditure in 2006 was $1204 billion.

Thus, the grand total of these peace missions was 0.46 per cent of combined military expenditure last year.

Something to think about?

Ralf Grahn


SIPRI Yearbook 2007, Summary in English;

Monday 26 November 2007

Finland and NATO

President Tarja Halonen has reiterated her opposition to Finnish membership in the NATO alliance. She says that she has seen no convincing reasons for joining, and opinion polls show that a majority of the population is reticent about membership.

A history of post-war efforts to stay neutral, 1,200 kilometres of shared border with Russia, a unilateralist US administration perceived as adventurous and an inward looking mindset help to explain the mental inertia of Finland.

But, at least for the political leaders of the nation, strategic reasoning and the responsibilities of leadership should shift the burden of proof:

If there are no convincing reasons to the contrary (and none have been presented), Finland should act like a normal member of the European Union, which the country joined in 1995. Out of 27 EU members, 21 belong to NATO. To remain on the fringes of both organisations is a poor choice.

The government of Finland should set a clear new course: Full participation to enhance the common foreign, security and defence policy of the European Union, including the achievement of a common defence, and transatlantic ties through NATO membership.

Ralf Grahn


Tanja Alamurto & Kari Huhta: On the road to NATO: a guide for travellers; Helsingin Sanomat, International Edition; 18 November 2007;

Tanja Alamurto & Kari Huhta: NATO Pros and Cons; Helsingin Sanomat, International Edition; 18 November 2007;

Sunday 25 November 2007

Gordon Brown on Europe

When Gordon Brown spoke about Britain’s unique place in the world and about advancing Britain’s national interest, he actually managed to mention the European Union in his five page speech:

“Through our membership of the European Union – which gives us and 26 other countries the unique opportunity to work together on economic, environmental and security challenges – and the Commonwealth, and through our commitment to NATO and the UN, we have the capacity to work together with all those who share our vision of the future. And I do not see these as partnerships in competition with each other but mutually reinforcing.”

Specifically Brown had a vision for the EU:

“I want to play my part in helping the European Union move away from its past preoccupation with inward looking institutional reform and I will work with others to propose a comprehensive agenda for a Global Europe – a Europe that is outward looking, open, internationalist, able to effectively respond both through internal reform and external action to the economic, security and environmental imperatives of globalisation.”


Daniel Korski, of the European Council on Foreign Relations, gave two cheers for the speech: one for making a positive case for how the EU can amplify Member State policies and a second one for focusing on an outward-looking attempt at addressing the world’s challenges.

Korski still missed an explicit case being made for the Lisbon Treaty’s new “bureaucratic arrangements” and for EU enlargement.


I wonder. Is this indicative of the level of engagement, clarity of vision and concreteness of proposals the ECFR is going to expect from the European Union and the national leaders?

In that case establishing the new think-tank was a waste of energy and money.

Gordon Brown almost overlooking the European Union may not have come as much of a surprise, but the ECFR, too?

Let us hope that more comprehensive European analyses and agendas are forthcoming.

Ralf Grahn


Gordon Brown: Lord Mayor’s Banquet Speech: PM outlines foreign policy priorities; 12 November 2007;

Daniel Korski: Two cheers for Gordon Brown’s speech; The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), 13 November 2007;

Saturday 24 November 2007

EU no Leviathan

“To dismantle that bloated, anti-democratic monstrosity in Brussels, I hope. To save the Europeans from themselves, yet again. They never learn.”

Some agitated minds seem to be ill at ease with the Treaty of Lisbon and the European Union in general, but the reasons given are not always very illuminating.

Is there something fundamentally wrong with the EU’s founding values: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities?

According to the new version of the Treaty on European Union (Article 2), these values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

What do they find obnoxious about the aims of the Union (Article 3), such as freedom, security and justice, free movement of persons, the internal market, combating social exclusion and discrimination, promoting social justice and equality between women and men?

Do they know that competences not conferred upon the Union in the Treaties remain with the Member States (Article 4), that the limits of Union competences are governed by the principle of conferral and that the use of Union competences is governed by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality (Article 5)?

Are they aware of the fact that the Reform Treaty is mainly about improving the inner working (procedures) of the European Union, not about the attribution of new powers?

What about the unelected officials as lawmakers?

The Lisbon Treaty (Article 8a) states that the functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy. Citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament. Member States are represented in the European Council by their Heads of State or Government and in the Council by their governments, themselves democratically accountable either to their national Parliaments, or to their citizens.

Perhaps the culprit is here: The Commission shall promote the general interest of the Union and take appropriate initiatives to that end. The President of the Commission is proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament. The Council, by common accord with the President-elect, shall adopt the list of persons to be members of the Commission, which shall be subject as a body to a vote of consent by the European Parliament (Article 9d).

Should the civil servants of the Commission, the judges of the Court of Justice of the European Union and officials other Union institutions be elected by popular vote? Are civil servants and judges elected by the citizens in, for instance, Britain?

The Commission does not make laws, it makes proposals. Laws are enacted by the Council, in many cases jointly with the European Parliament.

Areas of intergovernmental co-operation are less transparent than the questions where the European Parliament exercises legislative and budgetary functions. Shouldn’t those who long for openness and democratic accountability demand extended powers for the European Parliament, in short a democratic Union?

A number of European local governments employ more than 30,000 public servants. Are these cities bloated monstrosities, too? There are some 490 million EU citizens, and the relative size of the Union’s budget is one twentieth part of the federal budget of the United States of America.

By May 2004 governments and parliaments in 27 democratic European countries had applied and been accepted as members of the European Union. Surely, they must have seen some benefits. Surely, looking back at Europe’s history, they had learned something.

The European Union is no Leviathan. How should one evaluate a school system and media, which fail to give people basic civic knowledge?

Ralf Grahn

Friday 23 November 2007

European Union of minds?

Politicians with severe symptoms of reform fatigue have hailed the Reform Treaty or Lisbon Treaty as a victory for the European Union, prepared themselves for parliamentary ratification in most member states and vowed to dedicate their efforts to more rewarding causes for a long time to come.

In Poland a new government promises to become a more constructive team player than its predecessor and a new Danish government is thinking about a referendum on abolishing opt-outs from the treaties. In France and in the Netherlands the main parties look set to choose parliamentary ratification, although there are pockets of resistance with roots in the no-camps of the 2005 referendum campaigns.

In contrast, British media, public opinion, the Conservatives and campaigners seem to continue in the vein of Groucho Marx: Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.

Even the UK government seems to laud what it managed to scrap of its 2004 signature, what it did not sign up to now and what sets Britain apart from the other members of the club. What is Britain’s role in Europe going to be? Even after Gordon Brown’s and David Miliband’s speeches we cannot be sure.

Is there going to be a meeting of minds any time soon?

Ralf Grahn

Thursday 22 November 2007

New European Security Strategy

The European Council adopted the first holistic foreign policy strategy for the European Union in December 2003. “A Secure Europe in a Better World – the European Security Strategy” (EES) has become the basic document for the ambitions of the EU to become a global player; shortly, to export security to avoid importing insecurity.

The EU leaders and elites are not the only ones to profess the aims of peace and security; there is a demand from the citizens of the European Union for the EU to do more.

Sven Biscop of the Egmont Institute has analysed the European Security Strategy and the delivery of its aims. Despite fuzziness in parts, the EES has become a benchmark and a reference framework for the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy.

According to Biscop, Europe has the potential to be a global power. The adoption of the EES has supported the consolidation of the EU’s international actorness. The EES could yield more benefits by a more institutionalised strategic debate and the evaluation of EU policy. The main question is not whether the EES should be rewritten or not. The question is rather whether the EU is effectively implementing it.

Still, rewriting, or rather an EES 2.0, is on the wall. The work has already started.

Carl Bildt, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, told a conference in Stockholm:

“The European Security Strategy that was adopted then [late 2003] broke new ground, and there is little doubt that it has stood the test of time and served us well. But it was never meant to be just a stone tablet preserved for eternity, but rather a living document that would evolve and develop as the European Union developed and as its strategic environment and the challenges associated with it evolved. Much has happened since 2003.”

The process of writing a new European Security Strategy offers the European Union an opportunity to assess the new strategic challenges for the EU’s foreign and security policy, to fill in the gaps in the present EES, to try to reach new levels of consistency and coherence and to analyse the present shortcomings of delivery.

Given the fundamental interests at stake, the citizens of the European Union are entitled to real progress towards a more secure Europe in a better world.

Ralf Grahn


A Secure Europe in a Better World – the European Security Strategy; Brussels, 12 December 2003;

Sven Biscop: The ABC of European Union Strategy: Ambition, Benchmark, Culture; Egmont Paper 16; Brussels, October 2007;

Carl Bildt: Speech at the Conference for Global Foreign and Security Policy Challenges and the European Union in Stockholm 8-9 November, 2007;

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Treaty of Lisbon: impact assessment

For most enlightened citizens it is enough to know the main changes the Reform Treaty of the European Union (Lisbon Treaty) brings about. The distinction between the European Union and the European Community, long ago abandoned in daily news reporting and colloquial speech, is going to disappear from the founding treaties. The main changes aim to improve the decision making and working of the EU institutions, so the benefits for the citizens are indirect: improved governance hopefully leads to better results for the citizens.

Almost all the media and many information services have reported on the new treaties and some of them have published fairly detailed fact sheets for general consumption.

But the European Union is also an object of study, research or work for many people. They need more detailed information. The Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, including protocols and declarations, have been published on the Internet in all the official languages of the EU, except Irish.

The Treaty of Lisbon or Reform Treaty is highly unreadable, since only the amendments are presented, in a parsimonious manner.

The Council and the institutions of the European Union, as well as the governments of the member states, have refused to publish updated, consolidated versions for the general public for the time being. Luckily, a few research institutes and think-tanks have stepped in to fill the void. Already Spanish, French and English consolidations of the Lisbon Treaty are available, anticipating the contents of the treaties when in force.

The principle of equality of all EU citizens makes it highly desirable that the 20 language versions still missing could be published soon, even if equality has to be achieved without support from the EU institutions and the national governments. If there are not enough think-tanks and research institutes willing to take on the task, perhaps university, college or commercial publishers could sense an opportunity in addition to a civic duty. (For readers interested in basic information or consolidation, I refer to my earlier postings.)

There is, of course, en extensive literature on the now defunct Constitution. But more advanced analyses, specifically based on the Lisbon Treaty, are starting to appear. One good example is the joint study by three think-tanks based in Brussels – EPC, Egmont ja CEPS – which takes a fairly deep look at the institutional amendments: The Treaty of Lisbon: Implementing the Institutional Innovations.

In 147 pages the study offers a background view of the reforms and presents their contents, but goes further than that. The writers try to assess the scope and impacts of the proposed changes in real life.

The study is divided in chapters on the different institutions or subject matters: the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Presidency of the Council, Qualified Majority Voting in the Council, National Parliaments, Enhanced Cooperation and Foreign Policy.

What was lost and what remained, when the 2001 Laeken declaration’s aims of a more democratic, transparent and efficient Union, in 2007 became an unreadable text, negotiated in secrecy, far from public scrutiny?

According to the writers, it would be sad to think that this complex document is the last word in institutional reform. They hope for a codified, clarified and readable future version of European rules and procedures.

The study can be downloaded for free from the web pages of the institutes.

Ralf Grahn


The Treaty of Lisbon: Implementing the Institutional Innovations; November 2007

Published by:

CEPS, the Centre for European Policy Studies;

Egmont, the Royal Institute for International Relations;

EPC, the European Policy Centre;

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Challenges require EU reforms

When the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband spoke at the College of Europe, in Bruges, he mentioned challenges the nation-states are too small and global governance too weak to deal with. The defining challenges of the 21st century are global in scope, not national.

According to Miliband, the insecurities and threats of 2030 are clear. A Europe at war not within its borders, but struggling to cope with forces beyond its borders. Global capital, people and goods with whom it has not made peace. Religious extremism and division on its doorstep. Energy insecurity and climate change which threatens our security as well as our prosperity. Conflict and instability in regions where we have economic as well as moral interests.


In spite of Miliband’s repeated assurances that the European Union will never be a superstate or even a superpower, his vision of the challenges leads to the logical conclusion that there is a need for the EU to review its objectives and means completely: strategies, institutions, resources and policies.

James Rogers, on his blog Global Power Europe, commented on this lack of logical follow-through. Both soft and hard power is needed.

I am going to look at the challenges Miliband mentioned with a view to the future priorities of the European Union.

External security is the fundamental common good, but the individual member states of the European Union are not going to be able to achieve it on their own. The time is ripe for the EU member states to forge an effective foreign, security and defence policy, leading to a common defence. It is necessary that the EU and NATO put their turf wars behind them and reach a fruitful division of labour, encompassing a working Transatlantic relationship.

Soft power has great scope for further action concerning EU enlargement, neighbourhood policy, open and fair trade rules, development assistance and humanitarian action. European values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law are among our best potential exports for a better world.

Climate change and energy security require both a coherent foreign policy and a functioning internal market.

Internal security includes the control of our external borders and action to prevent terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration. We need common rules for legal immigration of qualified workers and the treatment of asylum seekers.

Economic growth and new jobs require action to enhance European competitiveness. Globalisation offers many possibilities for the willing and, despite temporary relief, many pitfalls for the protectionists unwilling to reform.

Solidarity towards the new member states has to find adequate expressions, which better create real European common goods than the present agricultural and cohesion spending, which should be phased out.

These strategic political priorities should lay the ground for continued institutional reforms: effective decision making and democratic accountability.

These strategic priorities should be the foundation for the necessary reforms of the next long term budgets of the European Union.

Ralf Grahn


David Miliband: Europe 2030: Model power not superpower; Bruges, 15 November 2007;

James Rogers: David Miliband says ’no’ to a European superpower; Global Power Europe, 16 November 2007;

Monday 19 November 2007

EU budget reform with unreformed CAP?

Roman Maruhn has written a clear synthesis of the questions concerning a reform of the budget of the European Union: „Auf dem Weg zu einem neuen Politikmix? Die Überprüfung und Reform des EU-Haushalts“. A budgetary system described as a historical relic and an un-transparent monster is certainly an object worthy of study and reform.

Gobalisation, climate change, energy security, energy market, immigration and integration, growth and jobs as well as enlargement belong to the challenges the EU Commission has named at the launch of the budget review 2008/9.

Maruhn remarks that the future functions for the EU, as visioned by the Commission – protection, solidarity and prosperity – are not fully covered by the tasks attributed by the coming Treaty of Lisbon. The Commission wants to achieve a new policy mix, based on European added value.

Lacking powers to raise taxes, the European Union’s is likely to continue to suffer from continued intergovernmental bargaining, far removed from the European common good. The less than satisfactory funding system is complicated by the budget rebates.

Some of the conclusions:

Spending reform can offer chances to set new political priorities. The budget reform should not be underestimated, since it could new strategic courses being set for the European Union. Budget reform should be seen in conjunction with reviews of the basic treaties, the common agricultural policy (CAP) and cohesion policy.

Future enlargement of the Union brings pressure to bear on the costliest policies of the EU. Has the case for a more political and democratic tax financing of the EU weakened along with the scrapping of state-like symbols and citizens as sources of legitimacy? The Commission has an interest to review and reform the EU budget; the participatory consultation process serves as a means to this end.


Maruhn’s paper offers an introduction to the background for long overdue EU budget reform. Let us hope that the Centrum für angewandte Politikforschung and the Bertelsmann Forschungsgruppe Politik continue their efforts to produce analysis for better EU strategies – institutional, substantial and budgetary – and that they are joined by many others.


Notre Europe, the think-tank established by former Commission president Jacques Delors, has taken on a very French mission: a study on the conditions under which European agriculture could fit into the world economy over the next twenty five years.

A host of papers has been published (of which I mention a few) for the EU agricultural policy post-2013 and a task force appointed, headed by Franz Fischler, the former EC Agricultural Commissioner, and Henri Nallet, a former French Minister for Agriculture.

Since even the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has hinted at a willingness to review some aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy, the Notre Europe task force might end up with reform thoughts of a kind, but radical reform plans would be highly unexpected.

Let us wait and see, but consumers and tax payers may have to look elsewhere.

Ralf Grahn


Roman Maruhn: Auf dem Weg zu einem neuen Politikmix? Die Überprüfung und Reform des EU-Haushalts; CAP Aktuell Nr 14, November 2007;

François Bonnieux: Farming and the Environment: prospects and proposals; Introductive Paper to the task force 10 September 2007;

Pierre Boulanger: Les arbitrages budgétaires; Papier introductive à la réunion de la task force du 10 septembre 2007 ;

Damien Fontaine : L’intégration des nouveaux Etats membres dans la nouvelle agriculture européenne ; Papeier introductif à la réunion de la task force du 10 septembre 2007 ;

Anne Claire Thomas : La gestion du risque prix après 2013 ; Papier introductif à la réunion de la task force du 10 septembre 2007 ;

Sunday 18 November 2007

Citizen journalism

The Blogosphere offers much more than neurotic shoppers and beatific cat-owners; sometimes blog writers bring forward themes and viewpoints neglected by political and business leaders as well as mainstream media.

In spite of modish claims that the Internet makes people dumber, I have tried to collect examples of the opposite, at least as an option, in my blogroll.

Looking for sources on the EU budget review, I came across an impressive long piece by Clive Bates on his blog, Bacon Butty: “Buddy can you spare a trillion? The EU budget review”. Without necessarily agreeing with all of his conclusions, I admit that his analysis and questions merit further thought, detailed discussion and convincing answers.

If the EU budget review 2008/9 manages to apply even a token of Bates’ rigour through the political process of decision-making, we could expect a post-2013 long term budget much more adapted to the needs of the citizens of the European Union than the present financial perspective (2007–2013).

Today I am going to make the addition of one shining example of citizen journalism to my blogroll.

Ralf Grahn


Clive Bates: Buddy can you spare a trillion? The EU budget review; 1 November 2007;

Friday 16 November 2007

Consolidated Treaty of Lisbon

Usually I am not a fan of anonymous commentators on Internet forums, including my blogs, because anonymity seems to breed a sniper mentality or grow from one. Now I am going to make an exception, for a good reason.

“Lisbon Treaty decrypted in 2009?”, one of my blog posts on the unwillingness of EU institutions and governments to publish consolidated (amalgamated) versions of the new and existing treaties, received a comment from Anonymous, who pointed me towards the Irish Institute of European Affairs (IIEA), which has published a draft of the Consolidated version of the Treaties amended by the Treaty of Lisbon. The consolidated version, in English, has been compiled by Peadar ó Broin.

Using small font and spacing this compilation manages to keep paper consumption at a reasonable level.

For a free download, go to:

Students, teachers, researchers, journalists, politicians and officials at the EU, national, regional and local level, as well as interested citizens have been given a handy tool.

With French, Spanish (mentioned earlier) and English versions of the Reform Treaty already accomplished there are only 20 more language versions to publish in order to have all the official languages of the European Union represented.

Are there versions I have not noticed yet? Is the work in progress somewhere?

Ralf Grahn

CAP reform camp

The vast majority of EU citizens, the consumers and taxpayers, have few friends among the member states’ governments. The UK House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee spoke of a well-established core group of reform-minded countries (UK, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden). The Committee welcomes the accord signed with Italy on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Not much to go on in a European Union of 27 member states.

Still, democracy should be about valid reasons and informed debate leading to accountable policies for acceptable results.

Some of the conclusions of the Committee bear repeating, because they challenge the governments in the anti-reformist camp to think through their stance and improve their justifications and, ultimately, their positions:

“Further reform of the CAP is both necessary and inevitable.”

“The only long-term justification for future expenditure of taxpayers’ money in the agricultural sector is for the provision of public goods. Payments should represent the most efficient means by which society can purchase the public goods – environmental, rural, social – it wishes to enjoy. For these payments to remain publicly acceptable, it is essential that they relate directly to the public goods provided and that, in turn, these public goods are measurable and capable of evaluation.”

“The objectives of the CAP have remained unchanged for the last 50 years and now seem dated. European agricultural policy has moved on since then, encompassing issues such as rural development, protection of the environment and animal welfare. The UK Government should begin negotiating, at the earliest opportunity, for a redrafting of the existing Article which lays out the objectives of the CAP – Article 33(1) – with the new text reflecting the wider context of modern rural policy.”

“Some of the key issues the UK Government must address in devising and pursuing such a rural policy for the EU should include:

· The prioritisation of objectives (for example, between environmental and rural development considerations)
· The degree of subsidiarity embodied in the new policy
· The relative advantages and disadvantages of financing such a policy – at least to some extent (i.e. co-financing) – at the Member State level
· How much of the current expenditure on the CAP would be required to fulfil the policy objectives chosen
· How best to manage the transition from the current CAP to this new ‘Rural Policy for the EU’
· The extent to which this new rural policy can contribute to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change”


The Reform Treaty or Lisbon Treaty is going to be as unreformed, and anachronistic, as ever concerning the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (although fisheries are added under the same heading). The earliest opportunity seems to be in a distant future.

For an outsider the Committee made a puzzling choice in leaving out consumers’ interests from its discussion altogether and relating to taxpayers mostly indirectly, as the logically necessary payers for and receivers of the public goods mentioned. If the interests of the voters as a whole do not concern the governments of the status quo group inordinately, they could be seen as potential allies and beneficiaries of the pro reform camp’s agenda.

Since the Commission Green Paper for the CAP review 2008 promises to be little more than a health check without serious diagnosis or treatment, the importance of the overall budget review 2008/9 grows.

The December 2005 European Council and, formally, the inter-institutional agreement in May 2006 invited the Commission to undertake “a full, wide-ranging review covering all aspects of EU spending, including the Common Agricultural Policy, and of resources, including the United Kingdom rebate, and to report in 2008/9”.

This promise might have been a joke for Jacques Chirac, but it is extremely important for the citizens of Europe.

Ralf Grahn


House of Commons, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee: The UK Government’s “Vision for the Common Agricultural Policy”; Published on 23 May 2007

Interinstitutional agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management; Official Journal 14.6.2006, C 139/1

Wednesday 14 November 2007

CAP basics

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is still the biggest area of expenditure in the EU budget. The basic principles of the CAP were written 50 years ago into the Rome Treaty establishing the then EEC. In half a century the world has changed a lot, but not the structure of the CAP.

In 1957 the war was still a living memory, and food scarcity a concern. Today obesity is a greater problem in Europe.


According to article 33 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community, the objectives of the common agricultural policy shall be:

(a) to increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress and by ensuring the rational development of agricultural production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of production, in particular labour;
(b) thus to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, in particular by increasing the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture;
(c) to stabilise markets;
(d) to assure the availability of supplies;
(e) to ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices.


The living standards of farmers outweigh the interests of consumers and tax payers.

The Commission runs the CAP along the lines drawn up by the Member States (the Council). The Council makes regulations, directives and decisions; the European Parliament is only consulted.

The European Parliament can only present wishes concerning the agricultural budget, since these expenses are seen as mandatory. (The Reform Treaty or Lisbon Treaty would extend the powers of the EP by abolishing the difference between mandatory and non-compulsory spending.)

The Commission is soon going to present its views on the CAP review 2008, commonly called the health check.

Leaked information does not promise any radical policy shift. This has implications for the expectations that the 2008/9 review of the whole EU budget could lead to major improvements.

Despite much talk about CAP reform, the 2002 agreement between Jacques Chirac of France and Gerhard Schröder of Germany, later included in the present financial perspective (long term budget), guarantees CAP spending until the end of 2013.

France has been keen enough to defend the present CAP to forego the possibilities offered to European industry and services by a WTO agreement during the Doha development round.

Finland is an interesting case. On the one hand Finnish political leaders stress the opportunities offered by globalisation and the need to enhance European competitiveness by implementing Lisbon strategy reforms. On the other hand they have repeatedly sided with France to shield agriculture from reform and competition pressures.

Ralf Grahn

Tuesday 13 November 2007

An EU budget for citizens

What if the budget of the European Union was made to serve the interest of the citizens? A radical change like that would require a major overhaul of both rules and practices.

According to Sebastian Dullien and Daniela Schwarzer the negotiations in the European Council leading up to the present long term budget (2007–2013) show that the present system has reached its end. The budget review clause for 2008-09 is an admission of this fact. The researchers summarise the situation:

”the EU budget is generally judged as being in a complete mismatch to the tasks the EU has assigned itself.”

When the citizens of the European Union are represented through their national governments, the results are not necessarily efficient, democratic or legitimate. The EU citizens cannot express their collective preferences and they cannot change the priorities through elections. The Council makes the crucial decisions (multiannual financial framework, revenue), so the authority of the European Parliament is restricted (although growing under the Lisbon Treaty concerning annual expenditure).

In the future the European Union needs a politically accountable executive, which is at liberty to propose a budget. The European Parliament, free to decide on income (taxes) and expenditure, would be the main budget authority, more important than the Council.

Instead of agricultural policy and regional policy, the resources of the European Union could be allocated to enhance sustainable growth. Hence, the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs could be given new impetus, especially concerning great projects of common interest, for instance in research and development.

The EU budget could be given a new task: stabilization of the economy at the Union level.

Income and expenditure could be used to mitigate booms and busts.

In addition, at least the members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) could introduce a new, stabilizing element. The new “stabilization pillar” proposed by the researchers could be a basic unemployment insurance at the European level, partly replacing the national schemes.


If the resources of the European Union are used for more beneficial purposes than today, the citizens reap the rewards through jobs that are maintained and created. The new system would fulfil the requirements of accountability and democratic legitimacy.

Ralf Grahn


Sebastian Dullien & Daniela Schwarzer: Integrating the macro-economic dimension into the EU budget: reasons, instruments and the question of democratic legitimacy; EU-Consent EU-Budget Working Paper No. 4; August 2007;

Monday 12 November 2007

EU citizens need to know

Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission, Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, in her 29 October 2007 interview with Parliamentmagazine said:

“We must continue to encourage a public debate on the future of the European union. The citizens of Europe need to know how the new treaty will affect them. And EU leaders need to know what the citizens of Europe think – not just about the treaty and the institutional changes it brings, but also about the wider questions.”


I could not agree more.

The first step to rekindle my belief in the sincerity of the EU institutions and leaders would be to offer the citizens of Europe the consolidated Lisbon Treaty (the amalgamated texts of the existing and amending treaties) online, in all the official languages of the European Union.

Ralf Grahn

Sunday 11 November 2007

Finland: Encouraging but discouraging

Finland encourages the EU to greater transparency, was the main message of a press release by the Finnish government Friday afternoon. I quote:

“Finland has sent on Friday, 9 November, a letter to the Portuguese EU Presidency concerning the overall policy on transparency of the Council of the European Union. In Finland’s view, the promotion of the transparency of the Council’s work is important for the attainment of the principles of good governance and for improving citizens’ access to information and possibilities for participation.”

“Finland is of the opinion that the Member States and the Council Secretariat should improve practices contributing to efficiently informing the public on the availability of webcasts and documents. Attention should also be paid to making the Council website and its webcasts more user-friendly. Links between improving the transparency of the Council and initiatives to better communicate EU issues to the citizens should also be examined.”


The starting point of the press release is the Council’s overall policy on transparency, which I dealt with earlier (EU Council on transparency, 31 October 2007). It is a commendable choice to address the government’s letter to the Council, since intergovernmental preparation, dealing and oversight is the black hole of transparency within the European Union.

The principles mentioned by the government of Finland are laudable, too. Good governance, citizens’ access to information and participatory rights as well as user-friendly information are core values of modern public communication. All this is encouraging.


The most important and most urgent communication task of the European Union is to publish correct, abundant and user-friendly information on the Reform Treaty. Because the need is urgent, the consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty should be published on the web, where the text can be easily updated, if needed. Equality for the citizens of the European Union can be attained only if the amalgamated texts of the existing treaties and the amending treaties are made accessible in all the official languages of the EU.

What does the press release of the Finnish government have to say about this most glaring communication deficit of the European Union, the Council’s outright refusal to make available a somewhat more readable and intelligible text?


Keeping quiet about the Union’s most obvious case of communication deficit, the press release raises more questions than it answers.

Do not even the loftiest principles fall flat, if the most important information shortage to remedy is left suspended in thin air? Does not reiterating highfalutin ideals tend to erode trustworthiness and increase alienation, when they are undermined by concrete actions? Does the Finnish government want to enhance its stained image as part of this conspiracy of silence, by drawing our attention to general principles and questions of secondary importance?

Against this background the press release is discouraging.

What does the Finnish government aim to encourage, really?

Ralf Grahn


Finland encourages the EU for greater transparency; Finnish government, Communications unit; Press release 326/2007, 9 November 2007; => English

Friday 9 November 2007

Lisbon Treaty decrypted in 2009?

The latest answer from an EU institution spells it out: A decrypted version of the Reform Treaty, soon to be known as the Lisbon Treaty, seems to be in the offing in 2009, if ever. I quote the reply from Europe Direct:

“The consolidated version will be available only when the Draft Reform Treaty is signed and ratified by the Member States.”

At this juncture the Lisbon Treaty is the most important document of the European Union, and we citizens are at the centre of the European project, we have been told.

Somehow there is a mismatch when publishing an intelligible version of the proposed treaties at once is stonewalled by the EU institutions.


Think-tanks, scientific research institutes or non-governmental organisations to the rescue of democratic EU debate!

Ralf Grahn

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Lisbon Treaty: Dadaistic legal drafting

José M. de Areilza scorns the preparation and drafting of the Reform Treaty of the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty is a low point in European integration. A few quotes:

”Lisbon is one of the lowest points in European integration, in terms of living up to ideals and the demands of democratic process and political debate.”

“Plus, leaders not wanting to publish a consolidated version of the new Treaty until it is ratified, European citizens should not waste their time reading the new rules of the game, written in non-sensical Dada fashion.”

“In any case, policy improvements do not justify the total departure from the rhetoric of bringing citizens and institutions closer.”


The comparison between dadaistic non-sense and the legal drafting of the Lisbon Treaty is made by a Spanish professor in European Law.

The clamour for more readable, consolidated treaties is growing louder by the day.

Ralf Grahn


José M. de Areilza: Treaty of Lisbon: ”jamais vu”;, 3.11.2007 ;

Commission priorities in 2008

Well into its five year term, the Commission of the European Communities is trying to sharpen its focus on the strategic challenges for the European Union. At the same time the main challenges in a globalising world are dauntingly complex and wide-ranging, even for the pooled resources of 490 million citizens.

The Commission reminds us of the strategic objectives in its initial 2005 programme: prosperity, solidarity, security and freedom, and a stronger Europe in the world.

Building on the 2008 Annual Policy Strategy (APS), the Commission’s Legislative and Work Programme 2008 spells out the concrete measures the Commission is going to take next year. Here are some of the priorities which lay the foundations:

The Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs remains the major vehicle for promoting a more prosperous, environmentally responsible and socially inclusive European Union. Since most of the actual reforms have to be designed and put into practice by the member states, the Commission is more of a coach than a player.

Still, the customary Spring European Council keeps the Lisbon Strategy on the agenda and offers a chance to underline globalisation as an opportunity to the citizens of the European Union.

Small and medium size enterprises are going to be interested in what improvements the promised “Small Business Act” if going to bring them.

The Eurozone is expanding with Cyprus and Malta joining in 2008. The Commission promises a strategic review of the European Monetary Union (EMU).

Sustainable Europe places tackling climate change at the centre of the Commission’s priorities, with implications for a host of policy areas. Growing concerns about energy sources and security are going to accompany the preparation of a strategic energy review, to be presented at the 2009 Spring European Council.

Since agricultural spending is frozen until the end of 2013, it is interesting to see if the so called health check of the common agricultural policy (CAP) can lay the foundations for a better match between the real challenges facing the Union and its future resource allocation.

The Commission will propose further steps towards a common policy on migration. On the one hand the EU will need labour immigration, but at the same time the Union needs to take effective action against illegal migration and human trafficking. Protection of the external borders of the expanded Schengen area is going to pose serious challenges.

The Commission states that one of its main objectives is to put the citizen at the centre of the European project. From taking stock of social realities, the Commission wants to advance towards a modern social agenda for Europe. Since most of the powers to do something rest with the member states, it will be interesting to see how the inspirational role of the Commission is going to evolve.

Europe as a world partner shows how the Commission is trying to come to grips with globalisation. The enlargement policy of the EU has been a great success, but the latest progress reports show that the road ahead is long and bumpy, if the membership criteria are going to be upheld. The neighbourhood policy tries to create a large zone of stability, democracy, progress and prosperity East and South of the Union. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the EU-Africa strategy are key areas for further action.


On the whole, my impression is that the Commission is on the move to face the challenges of globalisation, setting priorities for a more open Europe. At the same time and in many respects the Commission is cast in a supportive role, dependent on the ability of the member states (European Council, Council) in the areas of foreign, security and defence policy to craft coherent positions to put into practice.

Ralf Grahn


Commission of the European Communities: Commission Legislative and Work Programme 2008; Brussels, 23 October 2007, COM(2007) 640 final

Monday 5 November 2007

Plan-D and the Lisbon Treaty

Am I the only one to gripe about an unreadable and incomprehensible Reform Treaty or Lisbon Treaty in its present form?

No, I am not. Let us see what a few distinguished Europeans have said.

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who led the Convention which prepared the draft Constitutional Treaty called the new treaty illegible for citizens:

”Il est illisible pour les citoyens, qui doivent constamment se reporter aux textes des traités de Rome et de Maastricht, auxquels s’appliquent ces amendements.”


Jens Peter Bonde MEP, a known Eurosceptic, described the Lisbon Treaty in the following way in the introduction to his book on the Reform Treaty:

”They have managed to make the new text as difficult and inaccessible as humanly possible. The amendments can only be read by a few initiated specialists who are generally in favour.”


Giuliano Amato, a well-known expert in European Union law and vice president of the Convention, earlier gave his view on the mandate the leaders of the EU member states gave the intergovernmental conference, as reported by EUobserver:

”They decided that the document should be unreadable. If it is unreadable, it is not constitutional, that was the sort of perception.”


More testimonies are hardly needed. The Reform Treaty is simply impossible to read and to understand for the citizens of the European Union, our witnesses conclude.

In addition, the legal experts chose to present the amendments in a manner which makes it hard to follow the proposed changes even when you have the existing treaties at hand. If whole paragraphs had been presented, in a logical order, reading would have been somewhat easier.

I have seen no publicly announced reasons for these choices of presentation.


Many of us remember the Commissions Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate.

A short while ago Margot Wallströmin spoke on the participation of citizens:

“It will not be possible to continue this project of European integration without the citizens and without their participation.”


In spite of this, the members of the European Council have made no haste to give the citizens of the European Union correct, sufficient and user friendly information on the proposed Lisbon Treaty.

Perhaps the leaders of the member states want to create a void to be filled by false and misleading propaganda from the political fringes, which seems to be taking place in Britain and France.

If our political leaders do not understand that readable basic texts are essential for a democratic EU debate, their non-publishing blunder is going to alienate even those citizens who see the Lisbon Treaty as an improvement on the present Nice Treaty and who would favour normal parliamentary ratifications of the new treaty.

If the Council fails to publish complete consolidated versions of the Lisbon Treaty promptly, the Commission of the European Communities as the guardian of the common interest or the European Parliament as the representative of the citizens of the EU should step in quickly to repair the mistake of the leaders.

Instant publication of consolidated versions of the Lisbon Treaty on the web, in all the official languages of the Union, is the most important and most urgent communication task for the European Union. It is an elementary requirement for democratic debate.

Or is Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate just a bad joke?

Ralf Grahn


Le blog de Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, pour la démocratie en Europe : La boîte à outils du traité de Lisbonne ; 26 octobre 2007 ;

Jens Peter Bonde: New name – Same Content: The Lisbon Treaty – is it also an EU Constitution? 2nd edition, 22 October 2007

The Commission’s contribution to the period of reflection and beyond: Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate; Brussels, 13.10.2005, COM(2005) 494 final

Wallström wants more citizens’ engagement but no referenda; EurActiv 18 September 2007;

Sunday 4 November 2007

EU reform camp building

The Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies Sieps is looking around for allies for budget reform within the European Union. The annual conference of the Institute, on 26 October 2007, was dedicated to The Purse of the European Union: Setting Priorities for the Future. On Tuesday, 6 November 2007, Sieps and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) jointly host a seminar The EU Budget Review: Possibilities and Challenges for the Future.

At the Sieps conference Sweden’s EU minister Cecilia Malmström recollected that the current financial perspective of the European Union was a step in the right direction, but it was not far-reaching enough. She stressed the importance of the built-in review mechanism.

According to Malmström, citizens rightly expect the EU to use common funds well and efficiently. The Reform Treaty will lead to major improvements in this respect. The second major tool is a modern budget. The Swedish government believes that substantial reforms of EU spending – including re-prioritisation between areas of expenditure – are needed in order to achieve a budget that can contribute to the EU meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

Subsidiarity, European added value, proportionality and sound financial management are fundamental principles for a reform. The Swedish government has drawn some preliminary conclusions on the direction of the future EU policies: competitiveness, justice and home affairs, migration and asylum as well as external action.

The future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should be guided by market orientation, consumer demand, environmental concern, deregulation and reduction of budget expenditure.

The European Union could contribute with strategic coordination of regional development in the wealthiest member states, whereas the actual European funding for cohesion policy should be reduced and allocated differently in the future.

An ideal income system based on member state wealth would probably be sustainable, transparent and legitimate, but as long as the EU budget is unreformed, it would lead to disproportionate net contributions. Fair burden-sharing between member states can only be achieved if a new income system is accompanied by spending reforms, Malmström concluded.

Malmström’s speech and presentations by Iain Begg, André Sapir and Göran Färm as well as a recording of the Sieps seminar can be found on the think-tank’s web pages.

Zero-based budgeting

Sieps has initiated a debate on the European Union’s budget review 2008/9 by publishing a discussion paper ”Agenda 2014: A Zero-Base Approach” by Daniel Tarschys.

According to Tarschys zero-based budgeting has been a heavy instrument in annual budget processes, but might suit the multiannual financial framework of the EU.

Research is needed well ahead of the closing stages, when quarrels on burden sharing between member states exclude all other considerations. The European Union has a multitude of aims, but the real high-level priorities of the Union should be sifted out. The efficiency and effectiveness of Union programmes should be analysed, not only historically, but with a view to the future. The starting positions and expectations of member states should be examined. Programmes with diminishing returns still have their beneficiaries and defenders; phasing-out mechanisms and compensation packages should be planned.

The Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies is showing its pro-active stance in putting the crucial questions for the future of the European on its agenda and by its efforts to build coalitions for a reform agenda. The next long term budget (financial perspective) for five or seven years from 2014 is certainly one of these crucial areas of the Union.

To get started

Here, in addition to my previous posts, are a few sources for those who want to know more about EU (budget) reform:

The present long term budget (from 2007 including 2013) of the European Union is a good starting point: ”New budget, old dilemmas” by Iain Begg and Friedrich Heinemann.

If you want to reflect on a better budget for the EU, there is no turning back from the Common Agricultural Pollicy (CAP), still the biggest area of outlay in 2007. ”Why Europe deserves a better farm policy” by Jack Thurston presents the fundamental problems.

Iain Begg sorts out the basic budget terms and looks at both the budget review of 2008/9 and the financial perspective starting in 2014 in ”The 2008/9 EU budget review”. Is it possible to find solutions better adapted to the common good?

Ralf Grahn


Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies: The Purse of the European Union: Setting Priorities for the Future; 26 October 2007; presentations by Cecilia Malmström, Iain Begg, André Sapir and Göran Färm; web-tv recording;

Daniel Tarschys: Agenda 2014: A Zero-Base Approach; Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies; October 2007;

Iain Begg & Friedrich Heinemann: New budget, old dilemmas; Centre for European Reform; 22 February 2006;

Jack Thurston: Why Europe deserves a better farm policy; Centre for European Reform; December 2005;

Iain Begg: The 2008/9 EU budget review; EU-Consent EU-budget Working Paper No. 3; March 2007;

Thursday 1 November 2007


”The European Council has decided not to produce an official consolidated version.”

This was the answer I received from a Finnish government source, when I asked if the Reform Treaty, also known as the Lisbon Treaty, is going to be published as a consolidated version including the existing treaties.

It is impossible to ascertain if the European Council has taken such a decision, because a little while ago the Presidency Conclusions had not been posted on the Council’s web site, even if almost two weeks have passed since the meeting. On the other hand, since the meeting was unofficial, no conclusions are going to appear, but can any decisions be taken without [authentification] accountability?

Anyway, a negative decision would fly in the face of all the rules and principles on openness and transparency that the EU institutions and the national leaders proclaim. I don’t want to believe that they would make a decision so full of contempt for citizens and democratic debate; a decision like that would be a scandal.

On the other hand, if no consolidated versions appear promptly, I have to draw the conclusion that actions speak louder than words.

I received an answer from Sweden, too, but it did nothing to clear the matter. A Swedish consolidated version of the treaties is planned, but when there is an official EU consolidation to start with. This could mean anything from a distant future to never (as we have seen).

Some EU and Finnish officials have not answered as yet.


I have discussed the need for consolidated treaties from a number of angles in my web columns: practical viewpoints, the proposed treaties, existing regulations, the Council’s own principles and the Swedish and Finnish governments as champions of openness and transparency.

This has lead to one, crystal clear conclusion: The consolidated versions are essential. The 490 million citizens of the European Union are entitled to the best available information.


If the Council does not publish the complete, consolidated treaties promptly, there are but two possibilities to lessen the scandal:

The governments of the member states instantly publish their own consolidated versions on the web, in order to give at least their own citizens correct, sufficient and user friendly information about the most important document of the European Union.

If the individual governments refuse to adhere to their own ideals on openness, some think-tank or scientific research institute in each country takes on the role of champion for the right to democratic debate by publishing its own consolidated treaty version.

I have to admit that my trust in the European Council, the Council and the member states’ governments is shaken. Let it not be wholly destroyed.

Ralf Grahn

[Edited 2 November 2007]

Sweden and Finland: transparency

Sweden and Finland want to be known as champions of openness in the European Union. They have called for more transparency when Regulation (1049/2001) on public access to documents is being revised.

Here are some of the principles the Finnish government has underlined:

Finland considers that it is important to promote transparency and good administration in the European Union, as well as to increase citizens’ possibilities to obtain information and participate in the decision-making. Finland takes the view that widest possible access should be granted to legislative documents, including documents that have an impact on the legislative process. Also, citizens must be given information on the Union and its activities in a more user-friendly way.

When the Swedish government responded to the EU Commission’s Green Paper, Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask emphasized that the revision was an opportunity to advance the cause of transparency in the European Union.


We have seen how Sweden and Finland have chosen to position themselves regarding openness or transparency in the European Union.

The basic treaties are the most important documents in the European Union, even if the Reform Treaty or Lisbon Treaty is not called a Constitution.

Nobody can understand the European Union as a whole with the help of only the amendments contained in the new EU Treaty and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The new and the present treaties have to be consolidated in order to offer the reader even a chance to understand the basic rules of the Union. In this case the consolidated version will show the present treaties updated with the proposed amendments.

This is the most important communication task for the European Union for quite a while. If the European Union institutions and the member state governments want to retain any credibility concerning their rules and words on transparency, openness and access to information, they have to publish the consolidated Reform Treaty at once.


The Swedish and the Finnish governments have these two choices:

First, the governments should convince the Council of the EU to publish the complete consolidated treaties on its web site in all the official languages of the European Union. Only this guarantees equal treatment of all the citizens of the Union and information accessible to all. Only instant publication gives the citizens correct, sufficient and user-friendly information to understand and discuss the proposed treaty changes. Web publishing can be done instantly and possible later precisions can be added in real time. Printed compilations may follow later.

If the Council does not publish the consolidated treaties at once, Sweden, Finland and every government with a true belief in openness has to make them accessible to its own citizens, now. The same recipe should be followed: instant web publication; print may follow.

There are two possibilities for the governments: Convince the Council or publish yourself.

Ralf Grahn


Finland wants to promote transparency in the EU; Ministry of Justice, 5 July 2007;

The response of Finland to the Commission’s Green Paper on the Revision of the Regulation on Public Access to Documents held by the institutions of the European Community; Ministry of Justice;

Avoimuus ja Euroopan unioni; Valtioneuvosto;

EU; Avoimuus; Vihreä kirja yleisön oikeudesta tutustua yhteisöjen toimielinten hallussa oleviin asiakirjoihin annetun asetuksen tarkistamisesta; EU-ministerivaliokunta 1.6.2007

Öppenhet och EU;

Sverige fortsätter att arbeta för ökad öppenhet inom EU; Regeringskansliet, pressmeddelande 6.7.2007;